Can anyone explain this?

By KathyJ
Apr 12, 2010
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  1. I have 3 front usb2 ports. 2 of them are behind a closed door and the other one is beside the compact flash, SmartMedia, etc. ports. This one port that is with the Smartmedia, etc. has quit working when I insert my flash drive. The flash drive works in all other USB2 ports and in other computers. I thought that maybe this port had gone bad but now I'm not sure. I have checked my device manager and everything looks fine. There is no problems showing in the device manager. But, if I click on Disk Drives in the device manager while the flash drive is plugged into the port that isn't working, it shows Generic-Compact Flash USB device. Is this just a Windows default setting or is it trying to work and can't? I haven't used my flash drive for some time so I don't know which restore point to use to try to restore it back to when it was working. Plus, I don't use the Compact flash, etc. ports so I can't tell if it's just this particular hardware that isn't working. Can anyone make any sense out of this. I have tried my mp3 players there also and they don't work but will in the others. I know I can just use the other ports and forget it but this has me stumped and that makes me want to work it out if I can. Thanks for your time.
  2. LookinAround

    LookinAround TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 8,366   +167

    This may or may not be your problem but fyi and something to try

    Sometimes Windows gets "confused" by all the old (sometimes conflicting) USB storage driver data still installed on a machine
    > By default, Device Manager only displays drivers for connected devices so what you see in Device Manager isn't all that are there!
    > A USB storage driver is installed each time you first plug a USB storage device into a port (sometimes one instance for the same device for each new port!)
    > But the driver isn't uninstalled when you simply unplug the device but only when you uninstall the device
    > So you may be surprised how many old USB drivers are actually still installed on your machine!

    ==> Unplug all your USB storage devices and any USB CD/DVDs (USB keyboards, mice and LAN adapters can stay plugged in)
    ==> See How to use the DriveCleanupTool to remove USB storage drivers for all unplugged devices
    ==> Plug your devices back in for clean driver reinstalls
  3. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,489   +292

    Did that particular drive work in that port previously? If you are sure it did, then I don't have an explanation. But if maybe you never tried it there before, it could just be that for whatever reason that port can't provide enough power to make the drive work.
  4. KathyJ

    KathyJ Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 64

    Yes, I have been using this drive in this port for at least a year or more. That's what I can't understand unless that particular port has just gone bad. In fact, I have always used this particular port because it is more convenient. That's another reason I thought it may be going bad. Beats me but thanks to both of you for your time and help!
  5. LookinAround

    LookinAround TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 8,366   +167

    One common cause why you might plug a USB storage device back into the same port yet it no longer works: "Drive letter conflicts".
    ==> See my recent post USB Storage Device Problems? How to Cleanup and Remove old USB Mass Storage Drivers
    ==> That post ^^ is essentially a better written description for the DriveCleanup tool (i referred you to earlier)
    ==> Let us know if that still doesn't help

    One example of how this can happen:
    > You plug in a USB external disk or USB stick. Windows installs the device driver and assigns a drive letter for the disk/stick. Windows remembers the assignment in the device driver's data
    > Turn off the USB disk or unplug the stick. Note the driver doesn't get uninstalled when you unplug the device. Only when you uninstall the device!
    > Windows (or you) may now reassign the same drive letter to a different device. Examples
    ==> If you or an app that you run mounts a network drive or a path to a (local or remote) folder, it may get assigned the same drive letter!
    ==> You may manually reassign the letter yourself for a different device without realizing it (e.g. using Windows Disk Management interface)
    > When you now turn the disk back on (or replug the stick), if the drive letter is in use then the device won't appear due to the "conflict"

    In any case, running the DriveCleanup tool fixes problems due to drive letter conflicts (p.s. it can also be "good housekeeping" and can provide a performance tweak too!)
  6. KathyJ

    KathyJ Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 64

    I tried the DiskCleanup tool as suggested but unfortunately, it didn't work but I appreciate your efforts anyway. It looks like I need to just chalk it up as a dead port. Thanks again everyone for your suggestions!
  7. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,489   +292

    Well, this is fairly unlikely, but you might open up the case and follow the wires back to the motherboard. There is a very small possibility with the heating and cooling of the computer that one or more of the wires have worked loose and are no longer making a good contact. The wires will go to a small plastic housing that fits over pins sticking up from the motherboard.
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